Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mom's Random Thoughts Roundup


Whenever I go about my day now, I see things and think "Oh, blog material." From my crazy kids to cool stuff for my house. And it's not necessarily anything to interest anyone else, but it's my own little notebook to flip back through when I need to remember something. I have virtual sticky notes on my Mac that I leave quick thoughts on. At some point I need to round up all the thoughts in one spot to clear the desktop off, so indulge me...

My money saving couponing ways has made me a star on CNN.com (well, in my own head, at least!)

(A) I love a pregnant woman's body. I was never as comfortable in my skin as when I was pregnant. I wore a bikini with a three babies. BUT, come on, what is with American Apparel's clothing for expectant mothers???? Who the heck wants to revert back to the Jane Fonda look, let alone with 40 extra pounds around your most unflattering parts?

(B) I miss the Snorks, Fraggle Rock and the Smurfs. (I am secretly coveting this adorable t-shirt!!!) And, yes, I realize that they are still on TV... but not for those of us without cable.

(C) I am in love with this cute dish set at Target. Unfortunately, I have no need for it and it is completely the wrong color for my kitchen. (Hmmm, maybe time to repaint the kitchen???)

(D) I love this website for some unique art for the walls. Really cute/interesting/fun stuff.

May 2nd is Free Comic Book Day. Check this website out for local hobby shops that are participating. I used to love Archie comics when I was a kid. Where the hell did I get Archie comics anyway?

Yes, Colby and I are still doing our Family Fitness Challenge. I am not sure who is winning, hopefully he is keeping an honest chart, since it is the honor system. Pretty sure I will still kick his ass though!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Mommy's Girls

Kids Say the Darndest Things

The other day Annika approached me and said, "Mommy, I want to pack up my toys and give them to other little boys and girls." Awww, I am raising the sweetest children EVER! Pat on the back... great job, Michele... "and then we can go to Toys R Us and buy all new toys."

Great job, Michele.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Whatdoyagot, hammertoe?

I heard a commercial on the radio the other day that made me laugh out loud (sorry, I can't remember for the life of me what it was for.) The guy said "What is it with those fuzzy boots? What are you covering up: hammertoe, hairy feet, a bunion???" I always wonder when I see women in these boots in nice weather, "What the hell are you thinking?" I will be barefoot from now until September wherever the law allows.

Off to paint my toenails....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fashion for Mom: Earth Friendly


Did you know we can be fashionable and still be Earth friendly? I am walking proof. Yup, I shop at thrift stores and have scored a lot of great items for my wardrobe. I have also been able to upcycle my clothes to create newer cuter clothes. So many resources are saved simply by reusing one article of clothing: petrochemicals (the basis of synthetics like polyester and nylon) and the energy needed to manufacture them. (Even natural fibers like cotton are usually doused with pesticides, polluting dyes and chemical treatments.) Plus that is one more piece of trash kept out of landfills. There are just so many reasons to dress green, not the least of which is you will never be wearing the same thing as the lady in front of you at the checkout.

This dress I am pictured in here is a sample of upcycling. It was previously a dress that was cut down the back and ties were added. You can do it if you find a dress that might be a tad too small or even one that it too big that you'd need to size down a bit. You can then pair it with a tank top or t-shirt and jeans and it's super cute.

Here are some places to shop for vintage/ used clothing:
Rusty Zipper
Goodwill – find vintage and second-hand bargains at thrift shop locations near you, or shop their online auction.
Ebay
Salvation Army

If you are less than crafty, there are some great Etsy sites that upcycle and offer adorable clothing. Check these out:

Ok, don't look at this dress, I want to get it myself! I LOVE THIS ONE.
You can certainly get kids clothing too.
This shop has lots of cute choices.
This is a good shop too.

Anything other suggestions? Try it, I guarantee you'll look great and feel good about it too.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Best Mother's Day Gift Ideas (EVER)


I was reading Family Circle Magazine yesterday and I saw this:
Feel Happier: Spending money on experiences with others-like going to concerts or the movies-rather than material possessions for yourself, brings you more joy, suggests new research from San Francisco State University. Shared activities (even cheap ones, such as grabbing coffee with friends) connect you socially and provide memories that can last forever.
I knew it! I am so freakin' brilliant! This is exactly what I said when I suggested Christmas gifts in a post appropriately titled "Are You Experienced?" I would highly suggest you keep this in mind as you shop for Mother's Day this year. Of course, wonderful girl that I am, I have come up with a list of helpful hints... so if any moms are reading this, you can conveniently leave the computer open to my page for all persons-in-charge-of-purchasing-mother's-day-gifts to see.

#1 for any mom would probably be a trip to a spa for some pampering. It's not an original idea, but hey, it works. I have researched in NH and the spa that consistently gets 4.5 out of 5 start is the Common Man. Reviews here and here.

#2 A nice tour of a winery would be fun. Give her a day that she can go with a girlfriend for a little down time. And, no, you don't need to live in California. NH actually has some fantastic wineries. Here is a directory to get you started.

#3 Cut flowers just won't do it. Come on, they are pretty for a day and then we have to watch them die a slow death on our counter. Spring is the perfect time to get her a plant she can put in her garden. If you're really good, you'll ask the nursery for one that blooms in the spring and one in the fall so that she can have beautiful color for months. To make an experience out of it, why not get her a hammock and make her her own special corner of the yard, put a nice drink on the stand next to the hammock, give her her favorite book and let her relax for a few hours.

#4 Buy her tickets to her favorite event... if you're lucky she'll take you! New Hampshire has some great venues with some great shows coming up. You can see Don McLean or Blues Traveler at the Capitol Center for the Arts. You can see anyone from Brad Paisley to Blondie to Willie Nelson at Meadowbrook. Dane Cook is actually playing on Mother's Day at the Verizon Wireless... how fun would that be to give her the gift and take her out that evening???

#5 I know jewelry is an old stand by, but if you're going to do it, go original. Buy from Etsy and you are sure to have a one-of-a-kind. There are great necklaces you can have the kids name stamped on, hand stamped charms, gorgeous quote necklaces (love this idea), or just a simple ring (really cool too!)

In light of the fact that it is 'Mother's Day' why not get her an heirloom that she can pass down? These handcrafted measuring spoons would be so great to pass on to your daughter as she grows and moves into her new life. Also, you could look for aprons or handcrafted mixing bowls... anything unique that will remind a child of their time with their mom would be great.

If you have any ideas to add to the list... please share.

I also just wanted to mention that I saw this contest where you can enter a mom to win a $2100 makeover in Nashua. How great would that be????


IT'S IN THE BAG: DAY 25 OF THE EARTH HOUR TO EARTH DAY CHALLENGE
I know it's an old idea... but use reusable grocery bags for God's sake! I go to the grocery store at least twice a week and I rarely see people using the bags. I keep a set in my truck and one in the car (usually right in the front seat) so that I will remember to bring them in with me. It is so easy and it truly does save resources.

Monday, April 20, 2009

NH Women Get Out and Get Going

I have recently come across a few links that local women might find interesting. As the snow has melted, I am sure we all have that urge to just get out and do something. Here are just a few ideas of what to do around central New Hampshire:

Every Women Expo:
April 22, Nashua, New Hampshire. We're pairing up with the Nashua Pastoral Care Center to celebrate women and want you to join us for an evening of fun and entertainment. So grab your girlfriends, your mother, your daughter, or your special someone and treat yourself.
We want you to let loose, learn something new, win great prizes, and indulge in delicious desserts and fine wines and beers.

Nominate your mom to win a $2100 makeover package. The Hippo is sponsoring a makeover in Nashua. Every mom deserves to be pampered like this! Pass this link on to your kids or significant other as a not so subtle hint!

Concord Hospital is hosting some wellness classes to help ease into spring:
Introduction to Stress Reduction Using Mindfulness, April 30th
Mindfulness for Everyday Living, starts May 7th
Natural Beauty, April 22
World Dance Fusion, Starts April 29
Check your local hospital since most have great resources or wellness classes at reasonable rates.

Check out Pole Bliss in Manchester. They are bringing sexy back and offering pole dance classes. Check it out, it's not what you think and who wouldn't want a little extra spark in their relationship?

Spring is a great time to get some funky new stuff to spruce up your garden and yard. Head across Antique Alley along Route 4 and you are sure to see some great bargains!

Check out the plethora of wine events in NH throughout April and May.

Take some time for yourself, you'll be a better woman for it!

ORGANIC BABY SNACKS ON THE CHEAP? DAY 24 OF EARTH HOUR TO EARTH DAY CHALLENGE
If you are like every other parent in the US, when it comes time to start feeding your baby snacks, you go straight to the Gerber snacks. I did with my first two children. But now I am older and wiser and have realized I can get better snacks for less. If you just go to the organic section of your local grocery store, you can find Snikiddy snacks for a fraction of the cost. Gerber puffs cost $2.69 for 1.48 ounces. A bag of Snikiddy's are about the same price for 4 ounces! You can also try Pirates Booty Veggie Puffs(my friend, Tiffany introduced these to me) also in the organic section. Both of these snacks are healthy, all natural organic... and way less expensive than the Gerber snacks. (Plus, I can sneak a few, since they are low in calories & fat!) Just be careful to read the ingredients and make sure you have introduced your child to all of the ingredients listed. For instance, the Veggie Puffs contain spinach, broccoli, kale, carrots and more.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Week 3 Earth Hour to Earth Day Challenge

DAY 16: GOING GREEN FOR KIDS
Here are a few websites that are fantastic resources for those little treehuggers:
EPA's Environmental Kids Club
Kids Are Green
Nickelodeon's Big Green Help
Kids Planet
These sites are fun, but teach children at the same time. Ariana has tried them all and enjoys them.

DAY 17
Enviromom
Mother Nature Network
Freecycle
Green Phone Booth
Eco Child's Play
Go Green Tips for Moms
SouleMama

DAY 18: LET IT ALL HANG OUT
The biggest thing we have done to go green in our house is air drying our laundry. For the last year and a half, I have only used our dryer a handful of times. I have an antique drying rack that hangs on the wall in our bathroom and in the warmer months I hang outside. It has saved huge amounts on our energy bills and lots of carbon dioxide. Just consider:

• If all Americans line-dried for just half a year, it would save 3.3% of the country’s total residential output of carbon dioxide, experts say.
• Sunlight bleaches and disinfects naturally.
• Clothes small better without adding toxic chemicals that will be touching your body.
• It saves a ton of cash: My electric bill has dropped by at least $25-$30 per month.
• It gives yourself and your family an added reason to step outside and get fresh air.

Ebay Drying Racks: They have some great antiques racks like the one I use in bathroom from the 1800's.
Retractable Clotheslines
Project Laundry: A website based in Concord, NH that advocates making air-drying laundry acceptable and desirable as a simple and effective way to save energy.

DAY 19: RAIN BARRELS
This is a simple tip. Save a ton of water with a rain barrel. Use what you capture to water your plants, your gardens, grass... anything. It is a very simple tip, but residential irrigation can account for up to 40% of water consumption.

DAY 20: EARTH
Do something fun for Earth Day and give back at the same time. Take your kids to see Disneynature's new film, Earth. For every ticket sold opening week to Earth, Disney will plant a tree in the Brazilian forest.
The film tell the remarkable story of 3 animal families and the amazing journey across the planet. The trailer looks phenominal and I can't wait to see it. As an added bonus... the narrator is James Earl Jones. Seriously, how could you go wrong listening to that wonderful voice?

DAY 21: Get YOUR GARDEN READY FOR SPRING

DAY 22: WASH YOUR MELONS
Don't waste resources and but one of those silly vegetable washing products. Just go to the old standby... white vinegar. Add 3 parts water to one part vinegar, spray of the fruit of veggie and wash away pesticides and grime. Just rinse and eat! Easy.
Also, head on over to Home Depot tomorrow to get a free CFL bulb in honor of Earth Day.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Recycle-A-Post

In honor of Earth Day next week, I am recycling a post. This is post from 2007, when I only had... oh... 3 readers (my mom, my husband and myself!) I thought I'd ask for a little input this time... Do you have a suggestion that I could add to the list from Rolling Stone?

1. Black Eyed Peas, “My Humps”
2. Los Del Rio, “Macarena”
3. Baha Men, “Who Let The Dogs Out”
4. Celine Dion, “My Heart Will Go On”
5. Nickelback, “Photograph”
6. Lou Bega, “Mambo No. 5″
7. James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”
8. Spice Girls, “Wannabe”
9. Sisqo, “The Thong Song”
10. Cher, “Believe”
11. Aqua, “Barbie Girl”
12. Chumbawumba, “Tub Thumper”
13. Rednex, “Cotton-Eyed Joe”
14. Eiffel 65, “Blue”
15. Crash Test Dummies, “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”
16. Meatloaf, “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”
17. ‘NSYNC, “Bye, Bye, Bye”
18. Ricky Martin, “Livin’ La Vida Loca”
19. Semisonic, “Closing Time”
20. Wham!, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”

WASH YOUR MELONS: DAY 22 OF THE EARTH HOUR TO EARTH DAY CHALLENGE
Don't waste resources and but one of those silly vegetable washing products. Just go to the old standby... white vinegar. Add 3 parts water to one part vinegar, spray of the fruit of veggie and wash away pesticides and grime. Just rinse and eat! Easy.
Also, head on over to Home Depot tomorrow to get a free CFL bulb in honor of Earth Day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

18 Ways to Get your New England Yard Ready for Spring

DAY 21 OF MY EARTH HOUR TO EARTH DAY CHALLENGE: An Easy Guide to Preparing Your Yard for a New England Spring

•Wash the outside of your windows now, when it's cooler. As it gets warmer, it gets harder to clean windows without streaking.
•Start planting some seeds inside. Start with your fresh herbs, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers as they have a long growing season. Use The Heart of New England for ideas and help.
•Clean the decks and porches to remove mildew, mold and general grime. Green Living has a great article for green cleaning your deck. Try to avoid those caustic deck cleaners. Even a pressure washer with plain water will work wonders. (Be very careful not to damage your wood, however.)
•Take out all of your lawn/deck furniture and get it clean. There are a few different organic cleaners for patio furniture, but NZymSys seems to have a full line at a reasonable price.
•Get your grill out and get it cleaned up. Colby was ecstatic this year when he bought new tools to clean the grill and... wait for it... they actually did clean the grill. So, get your new cleaning tools now so you are prepared for all the soot & grime to come.
•Bring your hose out of storage. Check for cracks and leaks so when it is time for sprinkler fun, your kids aren't left with a trickle.
•Rake back the mulch now for a couple of weeks, so that the ground can warm. If the mulch is in good shape, you can reuse it. If it is not in good shape, remove it and replace it with new mulch around the end of April. Putting down a good layer of mulch could save you hours of labor. It will reduce evaporation, maintain even soil temperature, prevent erosion, control weeds and enrich the soil.
•Clear all drainage ditches and culverts of debris. Also clean out gutters and downspouts.
•Get lawn mower ready. Sharpen the blades and fill your gas can now. Nothing is worse than having a 5 inch lawn, pulling that starter and finding the gas tank empty!
•Cut back the limbs now, before the leaves start to emerge. It is easier to see which limbs might have been damaged by the ice and snow and you won't have to fight through so much brush to do your trimming.
•Get clothesline ready. It's time to stop using the dryer! See my previous post on this.

YOUR LAWN:
•Check for compaction of your lawn. You will see lack of grass, moss or just bare spots.
Lawn aeration is the remedy for compaction. Lawn aerators can be rented at your local rental center for about $40 for a half day. The aerator will pull up small plugs of the earth, making room for the grass roots to spread out and for any seeds or fertilizer to sink in.
•If you see thatch (the dead, straw-like stuff that is often tangled near the grass roots) you will need to rake it out before you attempt to revive your lawn. Unless you remove the thatch- any water, fertilizer or seed will just sit on the top and not be able to permeate the soil.
•Once you have de-thatched your lawn, you can add a fertilizer. Most home improvement stores and garden centers will carry a nitrogen rich organic fertilizer.
•If you need to re-seed (sometimes called overseeding), that’s the final step after any de-thatching or fertilizing that your lawn needed. Overseeding will help repair dead areas as well as keep lawn weeds at bay.

GARDEN:
•Transplant existing plants from one spot to another now, before they get too much of their spring growth.
•Start weeding now, before they really start to take root. Getting an early start will save you effort throughout the year.
•If you didn’t do so in the fall, trim back any perennials before they start to grow. The leaves and stalks should be cut close to ground level. Try not to pull out stalks as this may damage the plant.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Completely, Utterly Random Crap

You know when your husband does something really dumb (come on, you all know... well, except for you, Jeff) and then he says, "Come on, Michele, don't blog about this." Well, yeah... I'm going to blog about it....

One day I found my deep hair conditioner had been taken from under my bathroom sink and was on a shelf. Odd, I thought. But my friend, Kelly, had warned me that, as the kids get older, things will start disappearing from my bathroom. I figured one of them needed a deep conditioning and I just put it away. The next day, it was out again! Arrggg! I put it away. Next day, it made it's way downstairs to the kitchen! I made a sarcastic remark at Colby as I looked at Ariana out of the corner of my eye, "Colb, you using this?"
"Yeah."
"Huh?" (My husband shaves his head bald)
"Yeah, I've been putting it on my tattoo." (He has been getting a substantial tattoo over the last few weeks and had been using a tube of Aveeno that I bought him to moisturize it.)
"Really, you are using hair conditioner on your tattoo???"
"Ohhh, I just grabbed a tube and started putting it on."
"Really?" So you just grab my nipple cream and brush your teeth with it too???
His arm broke out really bad and, needless to say, he wouldn't admit to the tattoo artist today what he had done. Men.

I didn't mention it yet, but Ariana & I volunteered at a nursing home for Easter. It is the same one we volunteer at for Thanksgiving. If you haven't volunteered with your child yet, I really recommend it. It makes me feel so good to see her bringing smiles to all those faces. And, more importantly, she feels so good about what she is doing that she always asks to go back and do more. I won't preach but, really, consider it. Hopefully, it will carry on further into her life than I can anticipate.

For those of you keeping track, both Colb and I have worked out all 3 days since we started the Family Fitness Challenge. Well, he wanted to count building the kids tree house deck as his workout... so, whatever. I have to give him a handicap, he is a guy, and all.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Scenic New England



RAIN BARRELS: DAY 19 OF THE EARTH HOUR TO EARTH DAY CHALLENGE
This is a simple tip. Save a ton of water with a rain barrel. Use what you capture to water your plants, your gardens, grass... anything. It is a very simple tip, but residential irrigation can account for up to 40% of water consumption.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Family Fitness Challenge 2009

Yesterday began the Horne Family Fitness Challenge. Colby and I have $350 on the line in a wager over who can exercise the most in the next four weeks. I knew that money is a major motivator for Colb, so I bet him $350 he couldn't keep up with me in the next month. I also knew that I am super-competitive, so having the incentive to kick Colb's butt at something will drive me to work out EVERY day. It's a win/win... although I will get $350, a buff bod and bragging rights so I will really WIN! Ariana gets a little side incentive of $30 if she exercises every day... which is simply silly since she gets more exercise by 9am than I do in a week. But, it's still fun for her to be part of the Challenge.


LET IT ALL HANG OUT: DAY 18 EARTH HOUR TO EARTH DAY CHALLENGE
The biggest thing we have done to go green in our house is air drying our laundry. For the last year and a half, I have only used our dryer a handful of times. I have an antique drying rack that hangs on the wall in our bathroom and in the warmer months I hang outside. It has saved huge amounts on our energy bills and lots of carbon dioxide. Just consider:

• If all Americans line-dried for just half a year, it would save 3.3% of the country’s total residential output of carbon dioxide, experts say.
• Sunlight bleaches and disinfects naturally.
• Clothes small better without adding toxic chemicals that will be touching your body.
• It saves a ton of cash: My electric bill has dropped by at least $25-$30 per month.
• It gives yourself and your family an added reason to step outside and get fresh air.

Ebay Drying Racks: They have some great antiques racks like the one I use in bathroom from the 1800's.
Retractable Clotheslines
Project Laundry: A website based in Concord, NH that advocates making air-drying laundry acceptable and desirable as a simple and effective way to save energy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Biggest Breast Blog Ever


My recent post about 'National Cleavage Day' gave me the most visitors to my site EVER! 4 times over. So, I will now be transitioning my blog to one pertaining to... boobies! Melons Balloons Love Muffins Mammaries Sandbags Bazookas Bazooms Melons Betty Boops Fun Bags Snuggle Pups Molehills Boobs Cantaloups Twin Peaks Hush Puppies Jugs Tatas

Lets see where this puts me in my Google rank!

IMAGE COURTESY OF http://home.golden.net/~dhobson/gardnews.html

GOING GREEN FOR KIDS: DAY 16 OF THE EARTH HOUR TO EARTH DAY CHALLENGE
Here are a few websites that are fantastic resources for those little treehuggers:
EPA's Environmental Kids Club
Kids Are Green
Nickelodeon's Big Green Help
Kids Planet

These sites are fun, but teach children at the same time. Ariana has tried them all and enjoys them.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Earth Hour to Earth Day Challenge Week 2

DAY 9: Easter Egg Fun
I am going to be a good blogger and post this nice and early... well early for me since I am the Queen of Procrastination! With Easter fast approaching, you will most likely be dyeing some eggs soon. How about staying away from the traditional 'dyes' (some of which,according to a 1983 study by the FDA, were found to cause tumors) and using natural versions. Admittedly, this method is a lot more time consuming but may prove to be even more fun for the kids as they can put their aprons on and play with some food, spices, pots and pans.

I have found a load of great links on the topic, so I will just point you there rather than trying to recreate the wheel. My own personal tip is make sure you buy white eggs and buy them 5 days in advance. (Older eggs will peel much easier after hard boiling.)

Great links on natural egg dyes:
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
Better Homes & Gardens
Green Living Ideas


DAY 10: Down With Starbucks & Dunkin' Donuts

Do you know how just how much trash you are creating by using cups from your favorite coffee shop every day? Try this Coffee Waste Calculator and see. And just think of how much money you are wasting too. Why not get yourself a travel mug (I love Thermos brand for durability and longevity) and bring the java from home? You'll get to keep the coffee grounds for composting, you'll save the resources that are needed to make paper or plastic coffee cups and you'll save a buttload of money.

DAY 11: How to Decorate Your Home with 'Green'
I am a huge proponent/lover of using found items and/or salvage to decorate your home. When I lived in Littleton, New Hampshire, I discovered my first salvage store: ADMAC Salvage. It was like a shoe whore living next to Off Broadway Shoes. I was constantly shopping there for anything from trinkets to cabinets. Not only does the stuff have great personality, you are saving it from a landfill. I have a great island in my kitchen that I built with legs fashioned from stair banisters. I would recommend that everyone go to your local salvage store and take a peek, you'll be shocked at the great stuff they have. In (and around) New Hampshire, we have
ADMAC Salvage
Vermont Salvage
Old House Salvage
Nor'East Architectural Antiques

And for tips on how to decorate green or with found art, check out these sights:
Planet Green
Today Show
Care 2 Green Decorating

DAY 12: ENERGY SAVINGS
This is a given for green tips, but I'll say it anyway... Start by saving energy in your home. Shut stuff off when it's not in use and unplug stuff to cut down on the ghost loads. If you have trouble remembering to unplug, get yourself a handy Smart Power Strip, which will detect when appliances are not in use and shut them down.
Replace your thermostat with a programmable one. This is so easy to do and it will save you tons. Also, at most times, your local power company will be sponsoring a rebate to get the money back on the thermostat which will make it free or close to it. Just set the thermostat to go lower at times when you are not home or if you are sleeping.
Stay Warm NH is an outstanding website to give NH residents a plethora of ideas on how to be more energy efficient.

DAY 13: Green Websites

Here are a few of my favorite green websites. They deserve a bookmark or subscription as they all have great content and ideas.

Ideal Bite: They have great tidbits that you can have emailed to you every day. They also have a Mommy subdivision for those Mom's trying to go green.

The Soft Landing Baby: It's a website dedicated to feeding supplies for babies and children.

Green and Clean Mom: A great blog, the name says it all.

Eat Well Guide: A place to find local, sustainable, organic food in your area.

Terminally Pretty: a blog by a Mom like me, slowly trying to go green.

DAY 14: Reusable Water Bottles

Use reusable water bottles and save all the resources from disposable water bottles, from the actual plastic to the fuel to ship the bottles around the world. Go with stainless steel and avoid BPA, PVC and phthalate. Check out this article for more info.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Drug Addiction is STILL not a Disease

Ok, I posted here about drug addiction being akin to cancer here.
I have previously also posted about my animosity towards Anonymous commenters.

Now the two shall meet...
Mr. or Ms. Anonymous is back again, only this time to comment on my drug addiction vs. cancer post. Here is what they said:

Anonymous said...
Just a quick note that drug addiction and alcoholism have been identified by the Canadian and American Medical Associations as an ILLNESS, a DISEASE. Yes there is a choice to drink or drug IN THE BEGINNING, but if you are predisposed to have the illness you no longer choose, your disease is telling you that your body NEEDS these substances to survive. As for Cancer, there are people who smoke, sun tan and expose themselves to many other things that are cancer causing...do you lack sympathy for them too, as if they chose to behave recklessly with their health?????? Educate yourself as it is dangerous for suffering alcoholics and addicts to continually face this type of bigotry in society.

WTF? If only I had a sailor mouth, I would spew forth some great words. Alas, I can only say you are a butthead! Again, I must ask why the 'Anonymous'? Did you lose your balls as a side effect of your drug addiction?

Oh those poor, poor crackheads facing all that bigotry in society? Oh, how could I be so callous? You said it yourself... "Yes there is a choice to drink or drug IN THE BEGINNING." Enough said, choice made. Let me clear some stuff up, I am not some elitist who knows not the pain drug addiction causes. It is rampant in my family. I literally watched a very close relative die an excrutiating death due to alcoholics hepatitis. I cried harder than anyone at his funeral and mourned the loss of a man in his mid twenties whose children would never know their sweet, caring, funny, hard working father. However, it was purely self induced and completely avoidable. What brought him to that point was the same family predisposition that I have, lack of education and an avoidance of healthcare. I do believe that addiction somehow runs in families (nature or nurture, I am not sure) and I am at as high of a risk as the worst crack addict. I make constant choices in my life to avoid addictions for myself and my family and my 3 wonderful daughters. I have to say my exposure to addiction for the last 33 years gives me as much of an education as the most seasoned scientist.

And, no, I do not have sympathy for lung cancer patients who smoke a pack a day. That is, again, their choice. When my father had a portion of his lung removed 2 months ago due to lung cancer, I had no qualms speaking over the noise of his chest pump and oxygen tank to tell him how selfish he was being as he smoked every cigarette. How selfish he was every time he chose a freaking cigarette over his 3 daughters and 6 grandchildren.

So, I am not referring to the self imposed cancers that do exist as consequences of bad behaviors. But drug addiction is not a disease. It is not a disease like leukemia that takes the life of an innocent 10 year old who has yet to make any choices with great consequence in life. Call me a bigot, absolutely. I hold all addicts responsible for their own decisions and weaknesses. If a drunk driver injured one of my precious children, I certainly wouldn't be there saying "Oh, well, he had an addiction, he couldn't help it." Or if one of my children was a victim of violence due to some addicts need for a fix, I would also be unforgiving. Conversely, if one of my children became addicted, I would give them all the help they need to recover. I would not, however, give them an out and say "Oh, it's ok sweetie, you have a disease." It's not ok and it is a choice and all addicts who want to compare themselves to a leukemia patient are weak and selfish.

See, Anonymous, how I put my opinion out there with my name, picture and everything? I guess there is a reason why I don't live in Canada.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Madeline Alice Spohr

This is Maddie. She passed away yesterday, April 7, 2009. Ironically, I learned about her passing from Matt Logelin when he posted it on Twitter. It is ironic to me because I started following Matt when I learned of his wife, Liz, passing just hours after the birth of her daughter about a year ago. But, in following Matt's story, I have come to realize how precious life is and how quickly what we know and love can be gone.
So, through Matt, I discovered this precious little girl today. Since she just passed away, there are not specifics, but I can surmise that it was unexpected. As I looked at Maddie's mom's Twitter account, she had posted as recently as last night. It is so surreal to read her posts as they happened in real time... she clearly was not thinking that she would soon lose the girl most precious in the world to her. Here is a transcript of her last few posts...

Kid is sick AGAIN. Waiting for doctor's appointment to determine if it's bronchiolitis, pneumonia, or RSV. Send hopes and booze. 1:33 PM Apr 6th from TweetDeck

@mintlipgloss yeah, RSV is the worst. She's already had it once this season, if she has it again I don't know what I'll do! 2:03 PM Apr 6th from TweetDeck in reply to mintlipgloss

Dr. Looove just saw Maddie. She ordered an x-ray and pulse ox, and they're going to do a nasal wash to check for RSV. Yippee. 4:56 PM Apr 6th from TwitterBerry

They brought in a toddler bed, so now I can lay in the bed with Maddie. This seems to have calmed her, but she is obviously very unhappy. 11:57 AM Apr 7th from TwitterBerry

Now the doctors are rounding. Hopefully we'll have more news/information SOON. SO over being at the mercy of the doctors. 11:58 AM Apr 7th from TwitterBerry

Also, my blackberry is frowned upon, and there is no cable TV in the PICU! Que Horror! 11:59 AM Apr 7th from TwitterBerry

I now have internet access, but twitter and all its assorted programs won't load. WHAT IS THE POINT of internet with no twitter?
4:02 PM Apr 7 from TwitterBerry

Yes, I'm aware I have a problem.
4:03 PM Apr 7th from TwitterBerry

All the food in this cafeteria looks gross. I don't know what I'm gonna ea...OOOH! Sushi!
4:38 PM Apr 7th from TwitterBerry

Maddie knocked out another IV, this time it bled all over me. Nurses tried four more times to get a new line in to no avail. April 7th 6:49pm from TwitterBerry

She's still requiring massive amounts of oxygen and constant breathing treatments. Docs are still trying to figure out the problem. April 7th 6:50pm from TwitterBerry

They're going to intubate her, I'm freaking out. April 7th, 7:01pm from TwitterBerry

Madeline: http://tinyurl.com/dgfpbp about April 7 midnight from web (This last post presumably tells us of Maddie's passing, although their website is down with the high influx of traffic)


So, Maddie's parents were going about what they most likely thought was a typical trip to the hospital, having sushi in the cafeteria, checking out the hot tech in the ambulance (I saw that on her blog) obviously not ready for the unthinkable. How could they be, how could anyone be?

Please take a moment and put Maddie in your prayers/ thoughts/ heart... and then take a moment to realize that this could happen to anyone. We need to appreciate what we have when we have it and embrace every second with our little angels. See her big, infectious smile as a beacon of light, calling us to live life to the fullest.

Send her mom your love: @mamaspohr #maddie (Twitter)

Check out this blog for more info and donation information: http://amomtwoboys.com/for-maddie/

Maddie's parents are asking for us to donate to the March of Dimes in lieu of flowers. I watched the power of the web work its magic today as she raised about $14,000 (as of about 7:00pm EST)! Please go and make a contribution, no matter how big or small, just do it for her.

Even Jimmy Fallon was kind enough to take a moment...
jimmyfallon @mamaspohr sending you good vibes. Hang in there. April 8 3:39 pm from Tweetie

Wordless Wednesday: Mommy's Hand

I love the feeling of a baby exploring with her hands. She touches everything with a gentleness that is very short-lived before the wrath of toddlerhood.




Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Proud Mommy


I saw this survey somewhere and could not resist it... is is a series of questions I asked my 3 girls (Ariana, 8 • Annika, 3 • Acadia, 8 months) to see how well they knew Mommy. As I suspected, I got a couple of good chuckles. Read on...

1. What is something I always say to you?
Ariana: "I love you." (Well, yeah.)
Annika: "Annika." (I bet I say that 500 times per day... but it's ANNIKA!!!!)
Acadia: Blank stare.
2. What makes me happy?
Ariana: "Me being good." (So why aren't you good???)
Annika: "I love you." (Awww, so freakin' cute!)
Acadia: Giggles. (Yeah, that makes me happy.)
3. What makes me sad?
Ariana: "Me not listening." (Take the hint!)
Annika: "When me yell at you."
Acadia: Another blank stare. (Come on, give me something to work with, here.)
4. How do I make you laugh?
Ariana: "When you dance." (Um, excuse me, I do a mad running man!)
Annika: "Tickles!"
Acadia: (Hey, look at me young lady. I am talking to you.)
5. What do you think I was like as a child?
Ariana: "Dorky and funny." (Oh, you're one to talk.)
Annika: "Me." (God, I hope not. If I was, my mom's a saint!)
Acadia:
6. How old am I?
Ariana: "33."
Annika: "7."
Acadia: Mumumum (Good idea. Keep mum on the whole thing.)
7. How tall am I?
Ariana: "5'4"" (Close... kinda.)
Annika: "hmmmm."
Acadia: Squeals (Ok, I am not THAT tall.)
8. What is my favorite thing to do?
Ariana: "Take pictures- second favorite. You're first is playing with us." (Yeah, if you'd be good, listen and stop yelling at me!)
Annika: "Homework." (What???)
Acadia: Damn blank stare. (Hey, I do stuff.)
What do I do when you are not around?
Ariana: "Take pictures and play with Annika."
Annika: "Fall in the water." (Well, I guess I am fortunate that you are always around, then.)
Acadia:
10. If I become famous, what will it be for?
Ariana: "The world's best pictures." (I am seeing a theme here...)
Annika: "Outside" (As she looks out the window. Hey, concentrate here!)
Acadia: Raspberries (Sorry, sweetie, albeit very cute, that will not make Mommy famous.)
11. What am I really good at?
Ariana: "Taking pictures."
Annika: "Pillow time." (Ya hear that, Colb?)
Acadia: MmmHmmmmmMmm (Let me Google that.)
12. What am I NOT really good at?
Ariana: "Being a bad driver like Dad." (She is so freakin' brilliant!)
Annika: "Playing in the mud." (Hey now, I can mud wrestle with the best of 'em."
Acadia:
13. What is my job?
Ariana: "Staples and photographer." (I wish I was a photographer.)
Annika: "Helping painting and stuff."
Acadia: (Thanks for lying there long enough for me to type this.)
14. What is my favorite food?
Ariana: "Shepherd's Pie." (Ewww, for the record.)
Annika: "Hamburgers." (Not so much.)
Acadia: Ehhh
15. What makes you proud of me?
Ariana: "Getting a good enough pay check." (What??? Clearly you have no idea what I make.)
Annika: "Play Barbies."
Acadia:
17. What do you and I do together?
Ariana: "Talk or walk or play card games."
Annika: "Play puzzles, read books and stuff and play around."
Acadia:
18. How do you know that I love you?
Ariana: "'Cause you're my mother and you do good things for me. (How about a little appreciation then???)
Annika: "Reading me a George book." (Curious George, of course.)
Acadia:
19. Where is my favorite place to go?
Ariana: "Home." (Ok, I need to get out more.)
Annika: "Going to the circus and stuff." (Hmm, what a coincidence, there is a circus commercial on.)
Acadia: More smiles.



Monday, April 6, 2009

National Cleavage Day

So, Friday was National Cleavage Day, which I purposely did not mention due to the fact that I could not be part of the celebration. It would be like me deciding to celebrate Boxing day... I am about as close to Canadian as I am to having cleavage. Now, if the holiday had just been on the calendar a couple of months ago before I stopped nursing, I could have been the poster girl!
But, as I thought about it further, I figured I was being petty and selfish by not observing the holiday for those women who were rejoicing on their womanhood. So, happy belated National Cleavage Day to all of you wonderful women who are so blessed. I know the Bloggess was celebrating. I hope my friend Jen was taking part. God gave her the gift of beautiful cleavage and she has so embraced it that she had it even had it tattooed in case there was ever a chance you might miss it's glory. Happy Day, Jen!

Next up: Eight Track Tape Day, April 11

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Earth Hour to Earth Day Challenge Day 9

I am going to be a good blogger and post this nice and early... well early for me since I am the Queen of Procrastination! With Easter fast approaching, you will most likely be dyeing some eggs soon. How about staying away from the traditional 'dyes' (some of which,according to a 1983 study by the FDA, were found to cause tumors) and using natural versions. Admittedly, this method is a lot more time consuming but may prove to be even more fun for the kids as they can put their aprons on and play with some food, spices, pots and pans.

I have found a load of great links on the topic, so I will just point you there rather than trying to recreate the wheel. My own personal tip is make sure you buy white eggs and buy them 5 days in advance. (Older eggs will peel much easier after hard boiling.)

Great links on natural egg dyes:
Crunchy Domestic Goddess
Better Homes & Gardens
Green Living Ideas

I just might post some pictures after we try this... we'll see how it works out.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Earth Hour to Earth Day Challenge Week 1

Here is a recap of this weeks green tips... but first, don't forget to enter to win That Baby CD & DVD. You'll thank me!

DAY 1:
Saturday at 8:30pm was Earth Hour. What is it? Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. The goal this year is 1 billion people participating!

We will be shutting off our household for one hour. Thankfully, my girls think it is fun to hang out in the dark with candles, so we will have fun while we do it.

As part of Earth Hour and Earth Day, I am taking the Earth hour to Earth Day Challenge. I will have an eco-friendly tip at the bottom of my posts every single day from now until April 22. I will be giving family-friendly, low cost tips that any regular Joe Schmo can use. If you have ideas for me, please email me so I can add your idea or your link.

DAY 2: MOM CAN COMPOST
Here is my second post for my Earth Hour to Earth Day challenge. This year I am dedicated to starting to compost. I have never done it but I know it is fairly easy and will reap huge rewards for our impending veggie garden. I have researched a couple of sites and found some great ideas. The first site is my favorite since it only uses a cheap garbage pail from the hardware store. I will start with this before I make any big investments and see how we do with it. I will post pictures when we actually make it so you can all see how it goes.

SimpleMom composter tutorial

EHow composter tutorial
ThriftyFun composter tutorial
Organic Gardening composter tutorial


DAY 3: DONATE TO STAY GREEN:
There are tons of ways to keep your junk out of landfills. One of the best ways is to donate it. We all know the standard donation ideas, but here are some more unique ones:

• Donate old glasses at One Sight: drop off old prescription or nonprescription glasses at your local Lions Club, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears, Target, or BJ's Optical store (they'll give you a receipt for taxes), or mail them in (and request a receipt)
Donate an old car rather than let it end up in a junk yard. This can be a great tax write-off.
• Donate sneakers in ok condition at Soles4Souls. Soles4Souls facilitates the donations of shoes to aid the hurting worldwide. They coordinated relief efforts for the Asian Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, netting over 1 Million pairs donated for these disasters.
• You can also donate sneakers that are not suitable for wearing to Nike's Reuse a Shoe Program. The Reuse-A-Shoe program takes your worn-out kicks and turns them into Nike Grind, a material used in sports surfaces, playgrounds and even new Nike products.
Donate your wedding dress to a metastatic breast cancer patient who will be a bride herself.
Almost anything you have can be donated to a local church or charity and will keep tons of garbage out of our landfills while also saving all the resources of creating a new product.

DAY 4: SAVE INK

Try this font as a means to save ink. It cuts little holes out of the letters, which isn't really apparent to the naked eye, but it will save lots of ink. It is a cool concept that is free to download and free to use. What have you got to lose? Just try it!


DAY 5: ORGANIC GROCERY DEALS
Don't think you can buy organic food on a budget? Being the budget-conscious, coupon clipper that I am, I have found a site that helps you find great organic deals. It is a forum that will highlight where the best deals are and even tell you where to find the coupons. Check 'em out.

DAY 6: THAT BABY CD ON iTunes
I am sure nobody is surprised to learn that downloading music is far better for the Earth than buying a CD. Check out www.greenzer.com for a full article on the subject. So, go ahead, buy this CD from iTunes and save some more resources for the new baby.

DAY 7: PLANT A GARDEN
This tip is pretty self explanatory. Go to your local garden center, but some seeds, cut out a piece of your yard and start planting. There are tons of resources online if you have questions. I used Lowes online, which seemed to be pretty comprehensive.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mommy and Me Gardening

Spring is here, as you can tell by Annika dancing in the photo. We were able to go outside yesterday and enjoy every minute of that sunshine. It was Acadia's first time enjoying the fresh air since she was, oh... 2 months old! She loved it. With the great weather, we were inspired to plant our vegetable seeds and get the gardening started. Of course, Annika loved playing in the dirt, but soon had to run for her gloves because her hands were getting too dirty (what kind of 3 year old are you???) She helped for awhile but she then was being called back by the sunshine to dance around they yard some more, so I was left to finish by myself. (Ariana was not involved as she is grounded, and she was sure to tell me how 'miserable' I was making her by doing fun stuff without her.)

PLANT A GARDEN: Day 7 of my Earth Hour to Earth Day Challenge
This tip is pretty self explanatory. Go to your local garden center, but some seeds, cut out a piece of your yard and start planting. There are tons of resources online if you have questions. I used Lowes online, which seemed to be pretty comprehensive.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Groovy Baby


I am a huge proponent of exposing children to music. Yes, even in the womb, I am the dork laying around with headphones on her belly! When we had Ariana, we were given a 3 CD set of 150 songs. 150 insipid, redundant nails-on-chalkboard songs. We have since learned our lesson and realized that children can be exposed to all sorts of music. It is hard in a family of 5, but we do try to play music that everyone can enjoy. (Ok, so Colby isn't a huge fan of Black Eyes Peas, but he fakes it.)
So, with that in mind, do you need a baby gift idea? That Baby CD and That Baby DVD are far and above our new favorites. (Yup, I have even caught Colby walking around singing the songs.) The songs on the CD and DVD are actually all cover songs. And that is the coolest part, the songs are great and the musicians who perform them are phenomenal. With song writers like the Beatles, Bob Marley and the Pretenders, how could you possibly go wrong??? It is quite funny how the music elicits different responses from the 3 girls. Acadia, at 7 months, will just sit quietly, mesmerized. Annika,3 and Ariana, 8 will get on their tutu's and dance around like the princesses they are (ok, they would probably dance around like princesses to Metallica!) And the DVD will actually keep them all entertained, that's saying a lot for an age range of 8 years. There is one song in particular (Brass in Pocket by the Pretenders) that all 3 will watch and ask me to play over and over (well, Acadia doesn't ask me to play it again, but she is definitely saying it with her eyes.) It's simply children dancing to the song, but it is so freakin' funny, we all giggle, even after seeing it... oh, around 300 times!!! Colby comes home from work every night to either the CD or DVD on. He made a comment the other day, "Wow, you are really getting your mileage out of this one." I am, and it is so worth not having to listen to either Wheels on the Bus or Hannah Montana for the millionth time!

So, with that said, to celebrate my new blog makeover, I wanted to give my loyal readers a gift. And since most of my readers are parents, this is the perfect gift for you. All you need to do is visit the That Baby DVD/CD Facebook fan page and become a fan. Just leave a comment here or email me to let me know you did it and I will pick a winner on April 12th.

Even if you don't win, please heed my advice and consider this for a unique baby gift idea. Seriously, new parents get so many little clothes that they usually don't even like and the baby outgrows after wearing them once. (I mean, I liked every gift I ever received, I swear Mom!) Or they get duplicates of almost everything because nobody wants to think outside the box. Go with the creative gift of this music and save the world from yet another Barney CD.

THAT BABY CD ON iTunes: Day 6 of the Earth Hour to Earth Day Challenge
I am sure nobody is surprised to learn that downloading music is far better for the Earth than buying a CD. Check out www.greenzer.com for a full article on the subject. So, go ahead, buy this CD from iTunes and save some more resources for the new baby.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mom's Baby Girl


Wordless Wednesday I came across this picture the other day while archiving my photos. While it was a horrifying time, I love the picture because she was such a sweet trooper through the whole ordeal! Yes, I am World's Worst Mom.

Check out some more fun photos.


ORGANIC GROCERY DEALS: Day 5 of The Earth Hour to Earth Day Challenge
Don't think you can buy organic food on a budget? Being the budget-conscious, coupon clipper that I am, I have found a site that helps you find great organic deals. It is a forum that will highlight where the best deals are and even tell you where to find the coupons. Check 'em out.
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